Alaska State Council on the Arts names new Executive Director

The Alaska State Council on the Arts has selected Shannon Daut from Denver, Colorado, as the new Executive Director, effective January 9, 2012. Daut, 37, currently serves as Deputy Director of the Western States Arts Federation (WESTAF) a regional membership organization comprised of the 13 western state arts agencies. She replaces Executive Director Charlotte Fox, who has announced her retirement.

Daut has been at WESTAF since 1999, and has experience in a wide range of artistic disciplines including film, visual arts, music, theater and literature. In her role as deputy director, Daut oversaw WESTAF's work in the areas of cultural policy and technology. In addition, she worked closely with the WESTAF-region state arts agency directors to help advance their work serving the citizens of the 13 western states.

Daut also serves on the board of the National Performance Network and the Boston-based Chlotrudis Society for Independent Film. She is co-chair of the Create Denver Advisory Committee, a creative economy initiative of the Denver Office of Cultural Affairs, has served as a juror for numerous film festivals, and was chair of the Museum of Contemporary Art|Denver 2005 Film Biennial. Daut holds a bachelor’s degree in communication/film studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a master's degree in communication/rhetoric from the University of Colorado Denver.

The selection of Daut caps a three month national search, chaired by Nancy Harbour, President of the Alaska Center for the Performing Arts. “Nancy did an excellent job of chairing a thorough, professional, and exhaustive search and interview process that has yielded an extremely qualified and motivated Executive Director,” commented Brown.

The Alaska State Council on the Arts is a division of the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development, and is governed by eleven council members appointed by the Governor. It is supported with general funds appropriated by the Alaska State Legislature and the National Endowment for the Arts, with additional support for arts education programs from the Rasmuson Foundation.

Daut will join the Alaska State Council on the Arts just prior to the 2012 Alaska Arts and Culture Conference, slated for January 13-14 in Anchorage.